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The best Adam Driver movies, ranked

From Marriage Story to Star Wars, these are the best movies from Adam Driver's career.

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story
Netflix

Over the past decade, Adam Driver has emerged as one of the more talented actors working in Hollywood today. Whether he’s starring in science fiction epics or much more intimate character dramas, Driver seems to have full command of what he’s capable of as an actor and uses his physically imposing presence and versatility to inhabit a wide array of different roles. Because Driver has been so experimental throughout his long career, it can be hard to pick the best movies he’s ever been in as an actor. In this list, we’ve tried to combine. 

10. Silence (2016)

 10. Silence
161m
Genre
Drama, History
Stars
Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
Directed by
Martin Scorsese
Watch on amazon
Driver is not the lead in Silence, but his role as one of two priests who travel to feudal Japan in order to rescue another priest who was lost there years earlier is crucial to what the movie is about. Driver’s performance here convinced Martin Scorsese that he was one of the great actors of his generation, and his depiction of a steadfast priest who is tortured but refuses to renounce is a key stepping stone in the story of Andrew Garfield’s central character. Driver and Scorsese have yet to collaborate on another project, but let’s hope they do so soon.
Silence Official Trailer (2016) - Paramount Pictures

9. The Report (2019)

9. The Report
118m
Genre
Thriller, Drama
Stars
Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm
Directed by
Scott Z. Burns
Watch on Amazon
Telling the fascinating true story of the small team of senate staffers who discovered that the war on terror had led to a campaign filled with torture, The Report is a necessary reckoning with our recent past. Driver plays Daniel Jones here, a former soldier who spends months rifling through reams of paperwork, fully recognizing that it’s only through this slow, methodical work that he and his team are ever going to get to the truth. The Report is, in the truest sense, a paperwork thriller, and while it might not seem like the kind of thing that keeps you riveted from start to finish, that’s exactly what it manages to do, largely thanks to Driver’s anchoring performance.
The Report - Official Trailer | Amazon Original Movie | Adam Driver, Annette Bening | Watch Now

8. BlacKkKlansman (2018)

 8. BlacKkKlansman
135m
Genre
Comedy, Crime, Drama, History
Stars
John David Washington, Adam Driver, Topher Grace
Directed by
Spike Lee
Watch on amazon

Driver’s first Oscar nomination came for his supporting turn in BlackKklansman, where he’s tasked with playing a cop who infiltrates the KKK. Driver’s Flip Zimmerman is Jewish, and while he obviously doesn’t face the same level of discrimination as the film’s central character, Driver knows how to make it clear that Flip understands what it’s like to be hated for who you are. Flip is on the scene for many of the film’s most tense sequences and proves to be an able partner to John David Washington’s Ron Stallworth. Driver and Spike Lee make for a great team, and we can only hope that the director uses him again.

BLACKkKLANSMAN - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters August 10

7. Annette (2021)

 7. Annette
140m
Genre
Drama, Romance
Stars
Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg
Directed by
Leos Carax
Watch on amazon
Perhaps the strangest film in Driver’s fairly strange filmography, Annette follows Driver as a provocative comedian who marries a famous singer. Their relationship leads to the birth of a child, Annette, played throughout the film by a wooden marionette. Annette, which is also a musical, then spirals into madness as Driver pushes his daughter into stardom in order to support himself financially, and we see the way he uses and abuses his wife and daughter for his own ends. Driver’s performance in Annette sees him playing someone deeply loathsome, but you nevertheless find him endlessly compelling.
Annette - Official Trailer | Prime Video

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

 6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
152m
Genre
Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Stars
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver
Directed by
Rian Johnson
Watch on disney plus
Driver is great as Kylo Ren in all three Star Wars installments, but he’s especially good in The Last Jedi, which sees him struggling against the confines of his master, Supreme Leader Snoke, and trying to convince Rey that the two of them should join forces. His many scenes with Daisey Ridley’s Rey ultimately make this performance feel so precise and measured despite its sheer intensity. This is also the movie where we understand why his Jedi training under Luke fell apart and see how Luke’s betrayal sent him down a path that he doesn’t feel like he can ever turn back from.
Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi Official Trailer #1 (2017) Star Wars: Episode VIII Movie HD

5. Logan Lucky (2017)

 5. Logan Lucky
118m
Genre
Comedy, Crime, Action, Drama
Stars
Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig
Directed by
Steven Soderbergh
Watch on amazon
Heist movies are almost always great, and that’s especially true of heist movies directed by Steven Soderbergh. Logan Lucky, which sees Driver teaming up with Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, and Daniel Craig, among others, follows two country brothers (Tatum and Driver) as they team up to rob a race track during a NASCAR race and make off with their take. It plays like a rural Oceans Eleven and is maybe even funnier than that Soderbergh film. A loving ode to smalltown America that never feels like it’s talking down to anyone, Logan Lucky features Driver in full-on comedian mode, and he fully pulls it off. 
LOGAN LUCKY | Official HD Trailer

4. White Noise (2022)

 4. White Noise
136m
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars
Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle
Directed by
Noah Baumbach
Watch on netflix
Noah Baumbach has been one of Driver’s most frequent collaborators, and Baumbach gave Driver another starring turn in White Noise, his adaptation of the novel of the same name. To say that White Noise is a weird book feels like something of an understatement, and the movie follows suit. Driver plays the patriarch of a family in the 1980s as their Ohio town is evacuated following what’s described as an airborne toxic event. Ultimately, White Noise is about the consumer culture of the 1980s, and maybe more than anything else, it’s about the omnipresence of death in the minds of every one of its central characters.
White Noise | Official Trailer | Netflix

3. Paterson (2016)

 3. Paterson
118m
Genre
Drama, Romance, Comedy
Stars
Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley
Directed by
Jim Jarmusch
Watch on amazon
A small, intimate movie about a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, Driver excels in this lived-in character piece. Driver plays the bus driver, an observant man who spends much of his free time writing poems. His wife, who is an artist, encourages him to make copies of the poems he writes, but when he’s about to do so, he discovers that his journal’s been torn. The film features a touch of magical realism, but what makes it feel so special is the way Driver and the rest of the cast fully inhabit their characters, making them feel utterly real.
Paterson Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Adam Driver Movie

2. The Last Duel (2021)

 2. The Last Duel
153m
Genre
Action, Drama, History
Stars
Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver
Directed by
Ridley Scott
Watch on disney plus
Chronicling the last recorded duel in the history of medieval France, The Last Duel chronicles the same events from three divergent perspectives, helping us to understand why a well-regarded knight has been accused of rape by another less beloved knight’s wife. Driver plays the accused rapist, and his performance here is among the most sinister he has ever given. Driver’s character feels entitled to take whatever he wants, so he misreads every cue until he eventually commits the fiendish act in question. The Last Duel can be hard to watch at times, but thanks to outstanding performances from Driver, Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck, it feels worth it in the end. 
The Last Duel | Official Trailer | 20th Century Studios

1. Marriage Story (2019)

 1. Marriage Story
137m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern
Directed by
Noah Baumbach
Watch on netflix
Undoubtedly the greatest performance of his career, and one of the best movies on Netflix, Marriage Story tells the story of a marriage falling apart from two different perspectives. Driver plays the male half of the divorce, a brilliant stage director who drags his feet on the divorce and then finds himself overwhelmed when lawyers get involved. Driver’s performance is both wounded and prideful, and he seems to perfectly understand the intricacies of the man he’s been tasked with playing. He can be gentle and abrasive, angry and kind, and he’s always a little bit stuck up. Driver makes this person feel distinctly human and gives the best performance he’s ever given, opposite Scarlett Johansson.
Marriage Story | Official Trailer | Netflix

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Joe Allen
Contributor

Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Charleston Post & Courier, and Paste Magazine.

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